Lima

Things to do in Lima

History buffs wondering what to do in Lima will be happy to stumble upon the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History. This museum tells the history or Peru and its people.

For a few hours worth of fun, if you are wondering what to do in Lima, consider taking a trip up the Lima Hill. Since it is an arduous hill, your best option will be to take a tour bus or taxi up it. From the top, visitors can witness a panoramic view of the entire city and ocean.

Along with trendy bars and restaurants, you will find the Miraflores district has a very interesting seafront strip. This strip includes art sculptures, parks and incredible ocean and beach views. You may choose to amble along peacefully or rent a bike or rollerblades if you like a little bit of a faster pace.

One of the best things to do in Lima is head to Mercado Indio, a daily market that deals everything from traditional Peruvian clothing, silver jewelry, clay pots, and other locally made crafts. Be sure to bargain, it’s likely that you’ll be able to negotiate a great deal with many of the vendors within the market space.

Open since 1821, the hotel proudly declares that the pisco sour was invented here. True or not, the bartenders serve up a very good version of the drink—made from limes, pisco (a grape brandy), and foamy egg whites—in a wood-paneled room.

With pieces made from materials both expected (Amazonian wood carvings) and unusual (recycled tin-can mobiles), the emphasis here is on contemporary artisans. An excellent selection of silver jewelry is displayed in one of the converted mansion's front rooms.

More distinctive than the touristed Plaza Mayor is the Palacio de Torre Tagle, a former marquis' mansion. Completed around 1735, its stone arches and airy inner courtyard reference Moorish Spain and are reminiscent of buildings in Andalusia.

Two courtyards filled with everything from wood beads and strung seed necklaces to gourds carved with scenes of village life. Open every day, it's the smaller, more convenient equivalent of the Mercado Indio.

Claudia makes the most unusual necklaces, bracelets, and rings from velvet-covered wire twisted in strange shapes and dyed an amazing array of colors, which she sells at a nearby shop of her own.

Everyone, from businessmen to students, starts their evening at this Miraflores institution overlooking the neighborhood's main park. Try a Cusque—a beer or a strong cup of coffee.

Peru turns out the world’s best pisco—a grape-based liquor—and this pocket-size store stocks excellent bottles such as La Blanco Mostoverde Gran Herencia ($60), arguably the country’s finest.

Bargain for clay vessels and ponchos at the sprawling daily market. This is the place to find deals on inexpensive souvenirs.

Stock up on colorful and reasonably-priced sweaters, knee-length coats, and scarves, all made from downy-soft Peruvian alpaca wool sourced in the Andes.

The alpaca in most sweaters is blended with either llama fur (which can smell unpleasant when wet) or synthetic fibers, so it's worth paying extra for quality. Find the real thing in a rainbow of colors at this chain; the Miraflores location has the largest selection in town.

Up-and-coming jewelry designer Anna Dannon creates the imaginative silver baubles sold at this shop on the lively Álvarez Calderón. You’ll find everything from sculptural cube-shaped necklaces to thick, gold-dipped arm cuffs.

Ancient silver vessels and stone idols fill one wing; the other provides a survey of more recent history.

The magnificent recently restored mansion of Don Pedro de Osma y Pardo is yet another place to see a rich variety of art and artifacts. Built around 1900, the house was once a stage for the grand lives of Peru's aristocrats.

Mario Testino’s sister, Giuliana, is one of the most talked-about designers in town. Pick up her hand-crocheted clothes. If you don’t like your dress hems short (and these are short), there are also plenty of delicate cardigans, shawls, and capes.

For a fascinating introduction to pre-Columbian life, visit this diminutive museum. The textiles are of particular note; the striped pieces have thread counts in the hundreds and could not be duplicated with modern techniques until recently. Open by appointment only, so call ahead.